I find it really easy to forgive people. Sometimes I forgive people without them ever apologising. I am not sure why; maybe it is because I just don’t see the reason in holding a grudge against people. You aren’t going to see certain people every day or be made to spend time with them, so if you dislike them for whatever reason, you can usually stay away and that will help you keep your mind off them.
I used to think it was because I was brought up strictly. But I think it is a combination of both that and my childhood experiences. I came to the simple conclusion that I wanted to consider everyone a friend, and that harbouring hate for anyone was not necessary, not to mention bad for my personal well-being. I asked myself, “In five years’ time, will this person even really matter? Will I get over this by then?”
The answer is, they may not matter, and I will be over it by then. Even if I believe they will matter to me, that gives me even more reason to forgive. I know what it’s like to not be forgiven. It isn’t a nice feeling, thus I never wanted anyone around me to feel the same pain.
Forgiving is not easy. It always depends on the wrongdoing of the person in question. I have had people betray me, make fun of me, spread rumours about me, say nasty things to my face, physically hurt me, made me feel used, and emotionally trod all over my feelings. And I still forgave them.
I now try and tell people when they’ve hurt or offended me, and it makes a difference to saying nothing. It is, however, more difficult than the actual act of forgiving itself. More recently, I have tried to say, “I found that offensive”, or a flat-out “That hurt my feelings”. Even though I will immediately say “…but it’s okay”, it encourages an apology. Sometimes I have had to speak bluntly, because not everyone wants to listen to a monologue of how fed up I am of their mocking (or what have you).
I learned to say something, because if you don’t say anything, people won’t know they’ve hurt you, and they’ll likely do the same thing again because they think you’re okay with it.
Being easily forgiving makes it easy for people to tread all over me and hurt me and know I’ll be okay with it later. You would think I’d have a thick skin by now, but not really. I still get hurt. And it’s that hurting feeling that makes me realise I am actually actively forgiving — not just disregarding people’s actions or not being bothered by them.
It’s difficult having a character trait like this. However, ultimately, forgiving people makes me feel better about myself as a person. And I don’t deny that it develops some sort of inner strength.